Most wooden flooring companies don't need cabinet makers, because they don't make anything ! But we do. Lots of things.
This week in wood floor production at Turgon, our main cabinet maker, Istvan, has been assigned to ‘special duties’ by the boss of the company. That basically means it’s top secret, and although we can see what he’s doing, we don’t actually know why he’s doing it or for what reason. Originally from Hungary, Istvan, who has worked at Turgon for nearly 10 years. He trained for seven years at university and technical school, so his level of expertise is huge. He comes from a whole line of cabinet makers who are incredibly talented, and I have to say, it’s a real pleasure working with him. He’s very quiet, and sometimes you wonder what the hell he’s up to, then all of a sudden, an amazing piece of furniture or new design panel in miniature turns up. He doesn’t do that much in wooden flooring at the moment, apart from help out when needed. He is working on a whole new division of Turgon, and the new products which are nothing to do with wooden flooring, but are from wood, look amazing. You will hopefully see them later this year.
Our other cabinet maker, Igor, comes from Macedonia, and he’s in charge of all our sampling, colour matching, new products and panel making. Igor is the poor guy that gets it in the neck from everybody, because it’s his job to make sure our colours are correct, and any new finishes are implemented properly at manufacturing level. He also comes from a line of cabinet makers and carpenters; in fact, his whole village in Macedonia are carpenters! Although Igor never had the opportunity to go technical college, he learnt everything he knows from pure practice, literally since he was a boy. He takes care of a lot of our auto cad work, as well as the specialist panels we make and the hand finished wooden floors.
Our latest arrival is Bogdan who is from Romania. Although he’s only been with us 3 years, his talents are quite amazing. It seems he’s done a little of everything from carpentry to mechanics, but he seems to be excellent at all of them ! Ask Bogdan to make a sample of absolutely anything, and he does it like he’s been doing it for 30 years. He’s just one of those people who seem to love doing whatever it is they do.
This week it’s all hands on deck, as we are starting a floor for the penthouse apartment at the Bvlgari Hotel in Knightsbridge London. It’s a special finish wooden floor that Igor created, and to be honest, I hate him for it! It’s complicated, time consuming and it’s tricky to make. It’s 700 sq mtrs in total, so it’s going to take some time to hand finish. They’re large planks, up to 350mm wide, between 2-4 mtrs in length, with a heavy brush and a very special 5 coat hand finish. Here’s how it works in brief: Apply the first coat, then carefully stack in racks to dry for 24 hours. Unload, lightly sand, and apply a second coat. Carefully put them back in the racks to dry. Repeat another 3 times. It’s a lot of work, but it’s going to look fantastic !
I know a lot of wooden flooring companies say they have cabinet makers, but really, they don’t. Most just don’t need them, but we do. It’s not just about making a sample of whatever it is, it’s about understanding wood, and it’s properties. We deal with all sorts of exotic reclaimed timbers, and unless you know what you’re doing, they will go wrong, I can assure you. You have to know the species of timber you’re dealing with, and what kind of moisture content it should have before you can do anything, and that’s where a lot of others go wrong. We need cabinet makers in our company because we make a lot of very special things that only a very good cabinet maker can make, and that’s why we need our cabinet makers.
We’re lucky. We have the best of the best.